Government of India withdraws PDP Bill

By UK India Business Council (UKIBC)

On Wednesday 3 August, the Government of India withdrew the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill, 2019. It is not yet clear what the next steps are but comments from Government officials suggest the Bill could be replaced with one that has a “comprehensive framework” and is in alignment with “contemporary digital privacy laws”.

Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Twitter that the PDP: “…..will soon be replaced by a comprehensive framework of global standard laws including digital privacy laws for contemporary and future challenges and catalyze PM Narendra Modi’s vision of India Techade”.

The PDP Bill has undergone a series of consultations since being introduced by the Government of India. In December 2019, the Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha and was later referred to the Joint Parliamentary Committee, which tabled its resulting report in the Lok Sabha on December 16, 2021. The JPC report had proposed 81 amendments as well as 12 recommendations for a comprehensive legal framework for the digital ecosystem.

The UKIBC has actively engaged in these consultations, making several submissions to the Government of India and engaging with the JPC, including with our partners at Nasscom and The Dialogue.

We advocated to the Government of India for provisions that support core features of a thriving international digital environment – cross-border data transfers, personal information protection, mechanisms to promote interoperability among privacy law frameworks, transparent access to government information, and consumer protection and choice online.

In the meantime, the UKIBC will continue to engage with the Government of India as their plans develop and look forward to greater clarity on any future Bill. We believe that consultation with industry is essential and will continue to represent our members’ interests.

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